Three super-secret Lego minifigs are stowing away on NASA's Juno spacecraft, which heads off to Jupiter this Friday.
For NASA and space fans alike, the Space Shuttle program could not be winding down at a headier time. The landing of Atlantis this morning marks the end of an era, and comes the same day as one of NASA's early milestones 50 years ago exactly: Virgil "Gus" Grissom's suborbital voyage aboard the Liberty Bell 7 — the second launch for Project Mercury, NASA's earliest manned spaceflight program. Yesterday also happened to be the 42nd anniversary of the Apollo 11 moon landing, and just this May was the 50th anniversary of the first manned NASA spaceflight ever — also part of Project Mercury. So, yeah: heady times. Gus Grissom was the second American to go up into space, and the first to do it twice. He was an active influence on all of NASA's initial manned spaceflight programs, starting with his controversial Mercury flight, then on to Gemini and, finally, Apollo, where Gus Grissom would make the ultimate sacrifice. It should be stated here — and it's no slight to the man — that while this article focuses primarily on Grissom and includes interviews with people who worked in the space program, it's also about the untold thousands who go unmentioned. As Apollo programmer Homer Ahr told us over the phone, "We wanted to fly a successful mission, and sooner or later when you get people to discuss it from that vantage point, egos tended to go away." It was a team effort, through and through. With that in mind, join us as we take a look back at Grissom's contribution to our space program by way of his three landmark spacecraft, and the fierce controversy that threatened to tarnish an amazing legacy.
That's a wrap folks! At precisely 5:57 a.m. EDT, the Space Shuttle Atlantis landed back safely at Kennedy Space Center in Florida for the very last time, successfully completing mission STS-135 and ending the Space Shuttle program for good.
Continuing our coverage of the Space Shuttle program's final moments in the cold depths of space, NASA's released this beautiful and calming photo of the Atlantis as it undocks from the International Space Station for the very last time.
The space shuttle has launched for the last time, but that doesn't mean we're done sending folks into space. In fact, one new plan would have astronauts heading up to the ISS in a modified Atlas V rocket.
After a successful final launch, the Space Shuttle Atlantis is set to return back to Earth tomorrow, ending 30-years of historic space exploration. Once its wheels touchdown on the tarmac, the Shuttle will undergo a cleansing process that'll prime it up for a quiet rest in the Smithsonian. Too bad, cleaning her and all of the other Shuttles is quite the pain in the butt.
By the year 2000, we'll all be living in a gigantic space station built from moon rocks and wearing tinted glasses and goatees. Or so said NASA in 1975.
The crew of Space Shuttle Atlantis has returned to the spacecraft and closed the hatch between the shuttle and the International Space Station for the last time. The view? Well, it couldn't be more beautiful, with the Aurora Australis sending Atlantis off with one hell of a light show.
After a three year, 117 million mile trip out to the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, NASA's Dawn spacecraft has entered orbit around a 300-mile-wide asteroid named Vesta, snapping the clearest picture ever of what some scientists say might actually be a tiny little protoplanet.
Amid worries that the weather down in Florida would delay the final Space Shuttle launch until Saturday, the Atlantis soared into the sky, rockets blazing, on mission STS-135 to ferry supplies to the International Space Station.